Charter schools are public schools, most frequently sponsored by pre-existing school districts. They are tuition free. There are currently 360 charters in the State of California serving over 200,000 students and their families. Charter schools promote education as a shared responsibility of public schools, parents, individual learners and the communities in which they reside. Over 36 states have authorized the creation of these alternatives to traditional public education.
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In 1992 Senate Bill 1448, authored by Gary Hart, gave birth to Charter Schools in California. Charter schools were created as a catalyst to improve the quality of traditional public education. Charter schools are bound by fewer state regulations allowing schools to offer smaller class size, a focused mission, a high degree of parental involvement, flexible scheduling, and innovative programs. Charter schools are student centered and measure outcomes based on student performance.